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Using Data for Business Strategy and Decisions

How to Marry Statistics with Business Wisdom

Two days in person or Four half-days online

The amount of data available to businesses and other organizations is expanding every day. Innovative “big data” applications capture headlines and market share, but how can you use data to improve your projects and operational performance?

Improve your understanding of data and statistics by learning about and discussing the essentials of data, analyzing data and making business decisions with data. Examine ways to measure business performance and how to best present data to an audience.

What You Will Learn

  • Essentials of Data: Bad data=bad decisions, structured data, information needs, communicating with data scientists
  • Analyzing Data: Statistical basics and probability, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, cluster analysis, predictive analysis, statistical conclusions
  • Making Business Decisions: Application examples, case study, building your operational data analytics strategy, measuring and monitoring performance, understanding variation as a management tool, scorecards and dashboards.

Seminar Outline

I. Introduction and Overview

  • What are Business Analytics?
  • Support Structure for Success – Strategy, People, Processes, and Systems
  • Results – What can be achieved?

II. Essentials of Data

  • Bad data = bad decisions; how to get “the right stuff”
  • Data collection principles
  • Avoiding data overload – Differentiating “nice to know” from “need to know”
  • Communicating with data scientists
  • Data deception – Manipulation and misinterpretation of averages, percentages, rankings, and other basic stats

III. Analyzing Data

  • Probability- can we predict the future?
  • Types of stats – Understand what has happened (descriptive) versus making estimates about what will happen (inferential)
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Understanding variation as a management tool
  • Pitfalls of using histograms / bar graphs
  • Trend / control charts
  • Regression analysis- when and when not to use it
  • Finding patterns in data- cluster analysis, stratification and disaggregation
  • Decision Trees
  • Is it all about the data?
  • The role of intuition
  • Understanding your business

IV. Making Business Decisions

  • Converting statistical conclusions to business decisions
  • Case studies from various industries
  • Scorecards and dashboards
  • Application workshops

V. Transforming Classroom to Reality

  • Building your operational data analytics strategy
  • Barriers to success
  • Parting thoughts

Who Should Attend

You will benefit most from this learning experience if you are a:

  • Operational Manager
  • Business or System Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Leader of a Process Improvement team
  • Data Scientist with limited business experience
  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt or other problem solver


This course is taught by:

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